Like the legendary phoenix, the labyrinth of Redlands United Church of Christ came to life out of the ashes of a destructive fire. In July 1998, the RUCC church house was destroyed by fire, and the church decided to build a meditation labyrinth where the church house formerly stood. After the fire, the old cut stones from the church house foundation remained and were incorporated into the construction of the labyrinth as stepping-stones. Located on the upper south portion of the church property on Olive Avenue , the labyrinth is enjoyed not only by church members but by community members as well.
A labyrinth is a pattern with a purpose, an ancient tool that speaks to a long forgotten part of us. Lying dormant for centuries, labyrinths are undergoing a revival of use and interest. They offer a chance to take “time out” from our busy lives, to leave schedules and stress behind. Walking a labyrinth is a gift we give to ourselves, leading to discovery, insight, peacefulness, happiness, connectedness, and well-being. The Labyrinth is a symbol of our lives — its many turns reflect the journey of life, which involves change and transition, rites of passage, cycles of nature. Different from a maze, which has dead ends and false passages, the labyrinth has a single path that leads unerringly to the center.
The labyrinth at Redlands United Church of Christ is a Cretan labyrinth, referring to the location of one of the earliest known labyrinths (1500 BCE) on the Island of Crete. It is also called the 7-circuit labyrinth, referring to the number of concentric paths it contains. Like life, it contains many bumpy and uneven places. One must step carefully and intentionally on this labyrinth. Its lessons and its truths are many and unique, depending on the questions you bring to this particular quest.
The following information is from Walking a Sacred Path, by Dr. Lauren Artress: “Walking the Labyrinth does not demand a great amount of concentration in order to benefit from the experience. The sheer act of walking a complicated path, which discharges energy, begins to focus the mind. A quiet mind does not happen automatically, But the Labyrinth experience sensitizes us, educates us and helps us distinguish superficial extraneous thought from the thought that comes from our soul level and that is much easier to hear. Many of us are discovering that this is much easier to do when our whole body is moving — when we are walking… Each time you walk the Labyrinth you become more empowered to find and to do the work your soul is searching for.”
You are invited to walk the outdoor labyrinth at any time.